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Don Hai Phú Daedalus

Celilo Falls in Quarantine

Doc. expérimental | 4k | couleur | 10:0 | USA, 0 | 2021

Celilo Falls is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, the site of a traditional fishery on the Columbia River. For 15,000 years, the cascading waters sustained the lives of many indigenous tribes. In 1957, the completion of the Dalles Dam–a massive hydroelectric generator–inundated the falls, displaced most of the families that subsisted at the site and obstructed the migrating salmon, white sturgeon and other anadromous fish. Today, only a few families reside at what is now a man-made lake. Shot from Horsethief Butte, an outcropping of basalt, we see the petroglyphs and pictographs created by indigenous people who once came here, communing here above the tumbling waters. An ethnographer records the spoken language–Chinookan–of the community just five years before they were displaced. The butte was carved out by the glacial activity of the last ice age, and stands in defiance to the signature winds wailing up the Columbia Gorge. This is a vignette of Celilo Falls during the 2020, SARS-COV-2 pandemic.

Don H?i Phú Daedalus (b. 1983) grew up in the shadow of the country's largest public observatory—an area so remote and sparsely populated that it served as the first plutonium-processing plant for the Manhattan Project. Shortly after the oldest human remains in North America were discovered near his hometown, Daedalus left to attend the University of Washington, where, coincidentally, the remains were to be held during the decade-long legal dispute between the Kennewick tribe and anthropologists. He lives and works in New York.